19 January 2016 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 19 January 2016 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, N Champken-Woods, M Deacock, N Dixon (Town Mayor), M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling, P Lambert, A Midwinter and
G Hunt, Town Clerk
D Kemp, DCK Beavers Ltd
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Family), Dodds (SODC), Cowell (Business), Jones (Business) and Stiles (Unwell).
2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were no declarations of interest.
3 Public Participation and Public Questions
There were no applications to address the Council.
There were no questions put to the Council.
The minutes of the Council meeting held on 22 December 2015 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.
5 Budget and Precept for 2016-2017
There had been a number of budget meetings with Councillors, Officers and Mr Kemp of DCK Beavers. The result of which was the proposed budget and precept before Council for agreement.
The increase in the precept was largely due to forces outside of the control of the Council such as the impact of changes to employer National Insurance contributions and the withdrawal of a significant grant from Central Government by South Oxfordshire District Council.
In discussion it was felt the increase was justified although it was higher than Members would have liked. It represented an increase of just under 24p per week for the average Band D household in Thame.
i) The Budget for 2016-17 be approved.
ii) £596,209 be raised for the precept for 2016-17.
iii) The text of the public statement be approved.
6 Oxfordshire County Council Grass Cutting Agreement
Following on from the Council meeting in January 2015 when the Oxfordshire County Council Grass Cutting Agreement was discussed and Council agreed to maintain the level of grass cutting at a reduced financial contribution from the County Council, the report before Members provided an update following a full year of execution.
It was agreed that this was one of the Council’s successes and appreciated by residents. It would seem a nonsense to change the provision of service despite not receiving the same level of funding from the County Council.
A letter had been received from a local resident, who regularly picked up litter, to request that the Council consider an anti-litter campaign. The report highlighted a number of initiatives that already took place undertaken by the Town Council, District Council and local community groups, as well as future items for consideration.
Members discussed different ideas for reducing the amount of litter and to deter people from littering. It was agreed that a campaign to raise awareness of the problem was a good way forward and that it should involve the whole community, including school children and businesses, particularly retailers in the town centre.
After some discussion it was agreed that the Open Spaces Working Group would take forward the ideas raised and bring back their proposals to a future Council meeting for consideration.
8 Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations
Discussion took place on ways the Council might celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday. Correspondence had been received from the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire encouraging communities to organise celebrations and there was a national campaign to ‘Clean for the Queen’ in March.
The Tidy Thame initiative that took place annually in March would aim to coincide with the weekend set aside for ‘Clean for the Queen’. The Carnival would be held on Saturday 11 June (the weekend of the official national celebrations) and the Council, through the councillor representative, would encourage the Carnival Committee to confirm its proposal of linking the theme of the carnival with the celebrations and possibly extending the event into the evening.
The Flower Festival at St Mary’s Church would be held over the weekend of 20 – 22 May 2016 and the theme would be how the community and parish church may have changed over the last 90 years of the Queen’s life.
The Queen’s 90th Birthday Beacons was a national initiative to encourage local communities to light beacons on 21 April 2016 – the Queen’s Birthday. Members agreed that the Council should organise a Beacon Event in the Upper High Street car park on 21 April 2016 and to support the community, where required, to organise celebratory events.
i) A beacon be purchased and to undertake a Beacon Lighting Ceremony on 21 April 2016 to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday.
ii) To delegate the organisation of the Beacon event to the Town Clerk and Officers, which may involve bunting.
The meeting concluded at 7.33pm
Chairman, 1 March 2016